The Midland Trail High School cheerleading squad captured its second straight Class A Region 3 championship Saturday at the South Charleston Community Center. The victory earned the Patriots a ticket to state competition, which will be held Dec. 14 at Marshall University.

Head coach Stephanie Haynes said the Patriots' recent success has its core in experience gained from years of practicing and competing together.

"Many of the girls on this team have been cheering together for about 10 years," she said. "They started with little league, then moved through a strong competition middle school program and now high school.

"On average, they have been going to gymnastics for eight years. This means one to two days a week every week for about eight years."

The team is 18 strong — including 10 seniors. Thirteen of the cheerleaders make up the competition team.

"However, we do all practices, games and competitions as one team," Haynes stressed. "Each cheerleader has a special purpose and role on this team."

Midland Trail also has a strong base of supporters always willing to stand with the team, she added. "We have a huge support system behind us from parents, students, teachers, school administration and fans. Their continuous support makes a huge difference for us. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for each one of our supporters."

Midland Trail won the Region 3 cheer competition last year for the first time in school history. Back-to-back championships makes the team "super proud," said Haynes.

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